LOCKHEED MARTIN TO BEGIN PRODUCTION OF FIVE MORE F-16 MISSION TRAINING CENTER PILOT SYSTEMS
AKRON, OH, 14-JAN-03 -- The U.S. Air Force has ordered five more Lockheed Martin F-16 Mission Training Center (MTC) pilot systems for delivery to Spangdahlem (Germany) and Mountain Home (Idaho) Air Force Bases in 2004. The new units are in addition to the five MTC pilot systems ordered under a fee-for-service contract awarded to Lockheed Martin in June 1999. Production of the MTCs will continue to take place at Lockheed Martin's facility in Akron. The single-pilot training systems currently in use at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C, and Mountain Home, Idaho, provide immersive flight training that stimulates the senses with visual, audio and tactile cues, said Charles McCoy, Lockheed Martin F-16 program director. The Air Force has elected to install a four-pilot training system at Spangdahlem and upgrade Mountain Home with a second system to give pilots at those sites the same level of training as the Air Force plans elsewhere.
The second trainer at Mountain Home Air Force Base will provide Level C services, the most robust type of MTC pilot training systems. Mountain Home's first MTC pilot training system, a Level B, was delivered in June and became operational in September. The second trainer at Mountain Home will demonstrate the system's scalability and modularity. Scalability allows the system to grow beyond its original design without affecting performance. Modularity is the capacity of a system to interface additional components such as a brief/debrief system and role player station when a customer chooses to upgrade a pilot training system. Those two characteristics are achieved because of designed-in hardware and software features, such as the use of high-level architecture, that provide plug-and-play simplicity.
The MTC features new dimensions of realism including a 360-degree visual system and a variety of three-dimensional, high-intensity tactical situation entities that include up to several hundred aircraft, surface threats and electronic emissions. MTCs support high-level architecture network protocols and will be fully capable of long-haul network operations with other systems and players within a distributed mission training network. Distributed mission training ties together Air Force simulation assets over a high-speed fiber network for long-haul networking.
The realism of the visual database, which uses photo-specific terrain, vegetation and man-made infrastructure, is a big step forward in flight simulation. Pilots can now train with real visual cues rather than low-resolution, polygonal shapes of mountains, streams and man-made infrastructure, said Chris Cross, an F-16 mission operations expert and qualified pilot with Best Group Inc., LLC. Lockheed Martin's visual database generation techniques enable insertion of imagery at one-half meter in resolution, transformation of black-and-white source imagery to color, and scenes that transition from daylight to nighttime.
Lockheed Martin Naval Electronics & Surveillance Systems is the F-16 MTC team lead company. It is joined by Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, Ft. Worth, Texas; Lockheed Martin Information Systems, Orlando, Fla.; and Lockheed Martin Systems Management, Chesapeake, Va. The team also includes Best Group Inc. LLC, MultiGen-Paradigm Inc., SAIC, SGI, and The Boeing Company.